Sometimes, I’d just wish the Virtua Fighter fanbase would stop showing people their blatant insecurity. I mean damn. Would it kill VF fans to tell us how mother fucking good VF is without telling us “VF doesn’t have the flashy shit like Tekken or SF, but it doesn’t need it! That’s why it’s great!” They sound like the very Nintards that tried to damage control Gamecube and Wii for having shitty online capabilities. I mean… just look at this.

If a fun competitive game was really just a matter of having as much stuff in it as possible, then everybody would just use Mugen, or they’d never have stopped playing Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, or Smash Brothers Brawl. They don’t. Yet everybody still uses number of characters as an objective measure of quality in this genre. Skullgirls has 8 characters, and it’s a much better game than Marvel 3 because those characters have had much more careful work put into them. Nobody is useless.

And Skullgirls is how popular?

Havin mo shit has been a boon for Soul Calibur and Mortal Kombat 9. This day and age, more content equates to more replay value. At 60 bucks, it damn well better have more stuff!

It’s no mystery that Virtua Fighter, Sega’s flagship fighting game series, has been ignored here in the west. Capcom and Namco have a firm grip on the fighting game market with no end in sight. All the kiddies are into bad anime so Ark Systems has Blazblue and some Persona fighter covering everyone’s backs. Who does Virtua Fighter appeal to besides the maniac players?

See, we are taught that the only value of Virtua Fighter is that it has a “deep and complex” fighting system. While I haven’t played any VF besides the first, there are a few fans within it’s respective community who disagree that VF is “uber tecknikaal” which would lead me to believe that this mantra of “deep” fighting system is nothing more than VF fandom’s damage control of Sega under-delivering and actually trying to compete with Tekken and Street Fighter. Sega isn’t too broke that they can’t even put out like a story or “weapon master” style mode. At least they’re giving you the option to customize your characters any way you want. But that hardly matters in the long run.

You know why Virtua Fighter isn’t appealing to anyone beyond the maniacs? It might be the same reason WWE has higher ratings than UFC.

See, UFC is obviously more realistic and technical in that you have real fighters spilling blood, where as WWE is basically a soap opera side-show circus with homo-erotic “fights”. Obviously, the general consensus would be that UFC is the better show due to real professionals fighting instead of circus show dramas. To see masterful technique against masterful technique. Go watch your piddly WWE if you like sweaty men use plastic sledge hammers.

….And watch, they do. There’s just something that is appealing about WWE that it manages to maintain viewership over UFC (which is declining in viewership). Most people would guess “well it’s been around longer and it appeals to the lowest common denominator”. Legacy is never a factor for consistent success. Just look at Final Fantasy. And it’s content would, yes, be more suited for a demographic with lesser tastes. But there’s another factor that no one would consider. Perhaps it’s because the fighters are given some sort of purpose or motive as to why they undertake such “grueling” tasks to compete.

Look at the wrestlers in the WWE today and compare to the fighters of UFC. How many can you recognize from each camp? Obviously, WWE wins in the recognition department. But there’s something else WWE has that UFC doesn’t.

A “soul”. Not soul as in “good wholesome fun” or any of that retarded Disney bullshit you’ve been brought up to learn. I mean soul as in “personality”. Some Umph. Think. Why does WWE have silly soap opera bullshit going on? To generate interest. See, after a while, watching people kick each other’s asses for the hell of it…. got kinda boring. Or people grew out of the roman gladiator game mindset and grew a “conscious”. We all started thinking “you know, all this violence is kinda pointless. I mean, all of this is done for some money? Really? Are humans that greedy and selfish?”

You damn right we are! So when it comes to WWE, instead of just fighting for money, the wrestlers all instead have these stories that give them different reasons and motives for fighting rather than just money. Sometimes it’s for fame. Other times, it’s for revenge or payback. Or certain times, it’s to save one’s career. Or 2 people have beef with each other and want to settle it. Yes, it’s all stupid, thin, boarderline retarded story telling that junior high students wouldn’t find tastefull, but it makes things more interesting. That is the primary essence of WWE now. Stupid drama shit to keep things interesting. And don’t forget. The most recognizable wrestlers are also very distinguishable.

Think about every video you saw on the internet where someone gets punched or knocked out flat on the floor. You’d probably be wondering “Why did he do that!? It was so uncalled for!”. If the video actually provides an explanation or footage of the exact cause, you’d probably go “Oh yeah, he deserved it!” Then you watch it again to go “TAKE THAT BITCH!”. Or watch a random martial arts fight scene in a movie of unknowns. You won’t know what or why they are fighting, but if you watched the movie, the fight in question would become more intense.

Or a better example:

Here’s 2 anime dipshits fighting. What’s the significance? Well, after a lengthy series, it’s basically just… 2 anime dipshits fighting. Earlier fights were a lot more intense however, as the guy in purple was basically snatching up claw guy’s friends, listing them as renegades and a potential threat… even though they weren’t fucking with anyone. Most people who watched this show would root for Claw guy anyways due to the dickish nature of purple guy (and overall cheapness). It’s the whole “Freedom vs Order” deal at work. Claw guy = freedom. Purple = Order. Obviously, the fight looks cheaply animated, but knowing the character’s backgrounds make it slightly more exciting than usual. Why? Because someone that appeals to you is fighting. You want that person to win. So you watch in suspense. Everyone wanted Claw guy to “get back” at Purple guy, so the fight is “intense” to them. Regardless of the quality of the fighting, it’s the suspense and desire to see your guy win.

You know what game did this “see your guy win” concept well? Sega’s very own Eternal Champions

This game is a piece of shit. But that’s not why I remembered it. See, the creators of this game understood the concept of giving fighting games a unique universe to give the player motivation to pick a favorite and possibly stick with him/her. In this game, the characters are all faux “historical” characters who come from different time periods. They put in a profile mode that details the characters, their histories, and even their deaths. Wha?

Yeah. Each of the characters had motivations and desires for great things they wanted to see through. Shadow Yamato wanted to end corporate corruption, but was pushed off a building to her death. Bladre wanted to save the world from a deadly virus and had the opportunity, but was shot and killed before he could destroy the virus. Probably the saddest part for me was circus performer jetta who wanted to stop warring tensions between Russia and China before it could escalate into a war. Someone didn’t like that so while she was performing for a Chinese diplomat, someone cut her ropes and dropped her to the ground, Grayson style.  That… sucked….ass. And that sad music playing on the profiles page just drives it home.

So why are they fighting? Well, turns out this awesome guy called the “eternal champion” saves all these fighters from death and creates a tournament. He only has enough power to resurrect one of them, so to make it easier on his own emotions, he’s giving the fighters a chance to fight for their own lives. So you have the option of saving one of these fighters and go through the “grueling trials” yourself. Make your guy win, and see to it that their fate is altered.

Want Jetta to achieve peace and live to tell about it? Kick everyone else’s ass.

This is the great thing about fighting games. Instead of watching from the sidelines, you have the hands on opportunity to “make your guy win”.

When there is purpose given (beyond monetary gain), there is a “soul” present. The audience can sort of… sympathize with the fighters in question. Contrast with UFC where all the fighters motivations are either money or championship. It’s basic, and the environment carries an “all that matters” essence about it. So you see these random dickholes just beat each other up with an annoying ass commentator. What happens is that the fights become soulless. They’re just machines fighting each other. People don’t sense anything else besides just fighting. In the end, people gravitate toward the notion that it’s all just pointless.

WWE has it’s own universe of sorts. UFC just has soulless fights. And probably the most asshole fanbase the world over.

Fighting with no soul is boring, unappealing, and just pointless crap. No one wants Roman gladiator games anymore because we’ve all become more “civilized” than that. It’s considered primitive to demand blood for entertainment.

Virtua Fighter is the UFC. It’s hyped up as the definitive combat entertainment brand, but has no appeal. What is the universe? What is the purpose behind why these people fight? How unique are the characters?

Looking at these four, you’d think they all have the same or similar fighting styles.

And what fuckery is this!?

The fighters present within Virtua Fighter are just there. There’s not an entirely large focus on the game’s universe but rather it’s mechanics. Sega isn’t terribly bothered by details in mythos with it’s barely there story (that is hardly even featured in game). The most you ever get is this.

TITS! No? Awww..

What the hell does this mean? Dural is really human? What the hell is going on in this world!? You wanna know?

So the fuck would I! Sega never elaborates any further beyond… I guess this.

So we know that Dural is Kagemaru’s mother… or sister…. or wife…. hell if we know. Apparently Pai Chan hates her father? And Jeffery fishes.

Why not expand on the universe? It’s like after 3, they don’t do jack shit!

Alot of dipshits want to deny it, but fighting games kinda do need a story. You need to make the characters appealing beyond just being soulless fighters… fighting. Every begs for a point to why they fight. That’s where the game’s universe comes in.

No one is confused about Tekken’s universe.

Namco made it one of their priorities to make the universe of Tekken well known. The characters, their motives, how distinguishable they are from one another, etc. They didn’t skimp out on details. Unless you wanted to know why they put a damn TREE in the game.

WHAT ARE YOU!!?

Hell, even crapcom gave their characters some distinction. Street Fighter 2 had endings for all of their characters, giving the player a sense of accomplishment and meaning to their trials.

One of the things Capcom does right with Street Fighter is having easily distinguishable fighters. No one looks or plays the same. They all feel unique in their own regard, something that 3D fighters (and SNK to some extent) have consistently failed to do. Yes, even with the Shoto Clones that continue to dominate because Capcom has no concept of balance or character preference, but that’s aside the point.

And Soul Calibur…. damn.

All of these games all have characters with backgrounds and motives while also investing in the expansion of the game’s universe. Why if story in fighting games were never important? To make the characters appealing. Character appeal goes into the game’s universe. And that appeal goes further beyond the design itself.

Virtua Fighter has none of this. Don’t even give me that “read the manual” bullshit. If Sega doesn’t care enough to put that info into the game itself, they shouldn’t bother to begin with. How are we supposed to know the tournaments are set up by “illuminati” style corporations called J6? How are we supposed to know that Jacky and Sarah Bryant are the most important characters in the series and that Akira is a spotlight stealing whore? How are we supposed to know that Kagemaru’s mother is Dural? There’s no effort to convey that shit. What we are  left with is a fighting game with no soul. An empty husk. A primitive gladiator match. A UFC sausage fest.

VF fans will immediately brush this off as “unnecessary”. The only thing unnecessary in a fighting game is “highly technical gameplay”. Is it actually fun? It might be, but for the majority, it isn’t worth it for any stretch of the word. Everything you hear about this game will be about a “deep, technical fighting system”. This implies something along the lines of taking years to become a master of. It’s the most over-promoted aspect of Virtua Fighter, and believe me, that sounds boring. You don’t advertise a fighting system. People couldn’t give 2 damns about a fighting system. It’s completely irrelevant to why people bother to play fighting games. When VF fans express what they love about VF, it usually sounds like people expressing how much they love work. VF fandom marketing is “the love of work”.

“Boy, I really do love working!”

“Yes indeed!”

“But all those little people go around and just play around all the time! Not wanting to put in a hard days work!”

“MmmHmm! Mmmhmm!”

What am I paying for? Entertainment or exercise? Virtua Fighter is nothing but the work. Basically, you’ll be spending all of your time in practice mode training until you are on average or decent skill level before you can enjoy the game? Why can’t I enjoy it now? I’m paying for entertainment after all, right?

“But the work is entertaining! The joy of hard, hard training is fun because after about 700 hours of it, you’ll destroy everything in your path!”

Wait. After several hours? That sounds like Lords of Shadow! I don’t wanna pay money for something I won’t get until after a certain elapsed time frame!

This is what all VF hype sounds like. Work, and more work. An entertainment device should provide what it’s name implies. Entertainment. Work is not entertainment. No one likes to pay for work. Most gamers around their 20s are handing cocksuckers $25,000-200,000 or more for 4 -infinity years of work with a 20-50% guarantee of satisfaction. But they do it because of how much we are told it’s important to our future. Virtua Fighter is a game. It’s only $60 bucks (or 10 seeing how many years flew by). Who wants to pay that much for work that isn’t considered important?

Virtua Fighter is soulless work. A deadly combination in a market that’s going to be too broke to give a fuck about games. Sega can’t afford to make niche shit. Japan isn’t going to save them for much longer. Virtua Fighter’s content (and REAL marketing practices, not leaving it to the maniac players) needs to change dramatically in order to gain any real footing against Tekken and Street Fighter. Hell, even DOA, once declared the premier tasteless fighting game franchise of all time, is more enticing than Virtua Fighter. And with DOA5U coming out, even I have a reason to play it.

And DAMMIT, I’m going to have it one way or another!

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